It’s impossible to think of Spanish gastronomy without tomatoes in some form or another. Not so long ago everyone’s pantry would have been full of bottled tomatoes to see them through until the next growing season.
In the summer you would have been offered fresh sliced tomatoes served with salt and then drizzled with olive oil. Out of the tomato season it would be slices of bread with olive oil and bottled tomato spooned on top.
These days you can buy tins or packets of tomato frito or tomato trito.
Frito literally means fried, and trito literally means ground or minced, some have a delicious olive oil base.
Here’s a simple yet tasty tomato sauce recipe using fresh tomatoes. You can replace the fresh tomatoes for bought prepared tinned tomatoes for a completely different taste and texture, but if you use a good olive oil and fresh basil it can be an equally good sauce.
You could add some vegetables such as courgettes, peppers and aubergines and make it into a ratatouille or pisto type of vegetarian supper dish, serve with a salad and some crusty bread and you’ve a delicious wholesome vegetarian supper.
For an extra umph and protein boost try breaking a couple of eggs on the top and bake slowly.
Easy Spanish recipe for Tomato Sauce
(Salsa de tomate or tomate frito)
1 kg ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp of cold olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1. Put the oil in a frying pan and fry the chopped onion and garlic for about four minutes. Peel and chop the tomatoes and add them to the onion and garlic (if you haven't got any fresh tomatoes, you can use tinned)
2. With the edge of a spatula mash the tomatoes, onion and garlic up as they cook, for about 15 minutes on a moderate heat. When the mixture is cooked, take off the heat and liquidize so that you are left with a thick tomato sauce.
3. Chop some leaves of basil, and add this together with the salt and sugar.
Use a pizza topping and it´s great with Spanish tortilla.